If you've been paying attention at all, you probably feel like businesses are popping up all over Lincoln at a pace much faster than they're leaving. There's data to support your instincts. According to NAI FMA Realty, local retail vacancy rates are down to 5.9%. Contrast that with 7.2% and 8.3% at the end of the previous two years. Sandwich shops are booming Downtown; burrito joints are popping up on O Street; Gateway is refilling; Fallbrook got itself a grocery store; and heck, even Williamsburg got a new tenant recently.
Lots of good things are happening around town and I hope Lincolnites appreciate what that means for the community. I'm often not confident that folks around here are willing to say thanks for how good we've got it. Spend too long following the #LNK hashtag on Twitter and you'll think our morning commute is Washingtonian and our taxes are bankrolling the high-flying lifestyles of a small group of privileged elites; turn instead to the Journal Star comment section and the only logical conclusion will be that you're surrounded by the sourest and least grammatically competent people in the Western world.
I suppose the flip side of that perspective is that Lincolnites hold themselves and their city to a high standard. There's value in that. It's a type of community pride, though a somewhat perverse and self-deprecating one. We need to be careful that the high standard doesn't become an impossibly high standard, though. That sort of cynicism exacerbates the very things we complain about.
But let's not deal too long on the whiners among us. The fact of the matter is things are going pretty darn well right now in Lincoln. Life is right, you might say. No Vacancy signs are popping up all over town and that's a wonderful thing. It means opportunity and enthusiasm and vigor. Let's go take part in it.